Action Alert: Decision Time on Pesticides - Two Major Concerns about Bill 64
Now is the Moment. On April 22, the Ontario government presented Bill 64 to ban the use and sale of pesticides for cosmetic purposes. Although the Bill has many excellent features, it has two subsections that are of concern to RNAO. We are asking for your immediate help to urge the government to get those clauses removed.
The legislation is nearing the final stage of approval, and we have information that the decision may take place within days.
RNAO and its members and partner organizations have worked very hard to explain the issues to government, and now it is grassroots pressure that will make the difference.
The Good Features. The Bill has the potential to put Ontario in the forefront of protection of the public against pesticides, and RNAO welcomed its introduction:
• It would ban the use and sales of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.
• This ban would cover residential, industrial, commercial, institutional, municipal and provincial properties, including rural residential properties.
• The Minister of the Environment announced that the implementation period would be swift, with the ban to be in effect for the 2009 growing season.
Two Major Concerns
• As presently written, the Bill would empower the government to introduce other exemptions by regulation. This is in our view a dangerous and unnecessary provision.
• The Premier stated at the press conference that municipalities will be allowed to exceed the provincial standard, making the provincial regulations a floor but not a ceiling. However, the government now is retracting from this statement, and the Bill as presently written could take that right away from municipalities and weaken existing protections. RNAO is most concerned with this because municipalities have always had a leadership role in pesticides and toxics.
Many of you have already written letters to the Premier McGuinty and Environment Minister Gerretsen. Thanks very much – this has strengthened our ability to advocate on Bill 64.
Below, please send a quick message outlining these concerns to Premier McGuinty, Minister Gerretsen, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, and the Chair of the Standing Committee reviewing the Bill. Please insert your name at the bottom of the letter. Please feel free to customize the note and add your own message.